Seroprevalence and disease burden of acute hepatitis A in adult population in South Korea

Jin Gu Yoon, Min Joo Choi, Jae Won Yoon, Ji Yun Noh, Joon Young Song, Hee Jin Cheong, Woo Joo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Adult seroprevalence of HAV is decreasing in developed countries including South Korea, due to general sanitation improvement. Although hepatitis A vaccination was introduced in South Korea more than 20 years ago, recent infection rates have not decreased. In this study, we investigate the seroprevalence of anti-HAV IgG, and estimate the national disease burden of acute hepatitis A in adult population. Methods: Seroprevalence data were collected from health promotion center of Korea University Guro Hospital, in Seoul, Korea from 2010 to 2014. Data from adults (20-years) being tested for anti-HAV IgG were included. In addition, epidemiological and clinical data of patients diagnosed with acute hepatitis A from 2009 to 2013, were collected from Korean Statistical Information Service (KOSIS) and the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) database. Data were stratified and compared by age groups. Results: A total of 11,177 subjects were tested for anti-HAV IgG from 2010 to 2014. Age-related seroprevalence showed relatively low seropositivity in young adults. Incidence of acute hepatitis A was highest in 2009 and lowest in 2013. When categorized by age group, adults in their 20s and 30s had more HAV infections and related-admissions than older adults. However, ICU admission rate and average insurance-covered cost was high in older adults. Conclusion: The anti-HAV IgG seropositivity in Korean younger adult population was low while the incidence of acute hepatitis A was high, especially in the 20–39 aged. However, a substantial number of older adults were infected, and required more intensive procedures and incurred higher insurance-covered medical costs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0186257
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Yoon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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